The world’s first full sign language Bible is almost finished

By July 17, 2020

USA (MNN) — If you speak English and live in the U.S., you have full access to God’s Word in dozens of translations and formats. The same cannot be said of U.S. Deaf people. Their heart language is American Sign Language, which – like all of the world’s sign languages – lacks a full Bible translation.

Rob Myers of DOOR International says that’s about to change.

“In October, they’re holding a celebration for the first sign language [with] access to the full Bible.”

A labor of love

A few weeks ago, Deaf Missions announced they completed filming the final portion of Scripture in their decades-long project. Now, the translation will undergo editing, community checks, and consultant checks before a final version is released in the fall.

“Deaf Missions is the oldest running [sign language] Bible translation [organization] out there. They started in the early 1980s and have been persevering, even through various changes in technology,” Myers says.

“They began some of their work using VHS tapes. But, with the advent of new technology, they were able to speed up their work.”

The world’s 70 million Deaf people use an estimated 350+ sign languages. None have a complete Bible, and less than 50 have any published Scripture. Learn why Deaf people use different sign languages.

door international, american sign language

(Photo courtesy of DOOR International)

“DOOR has been in partnership with Deaf Missions on this project to see American Sign Language be one of the first [sign] languages to have full Scripture access,” Myers notes.

Next steps

DOOR is also working with Deaf Harbor on a Chronological Bible Translation in American Sign Language. More about that here.

“The Chronological Bible Translation [is] more for communities that have never engaged with Scripture before,” Myers explains, “and that’s also going to be coming out at the same time [as] Deaf Missions’ version.”

Praise God for these developments! Learn how DOOR uses Chronological Bible Translation in tandem with Deaf-led church planting efforts. Plus, find ways to pray for Deaf ministry on a monthly basis.



Header image depicts Deaf Missions’ final day of filming on the American Sign Language Bible. Photo credit Deaf Missions.

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